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by Matt Campbell

The all-new Range Rover Sport SVR has been revealed, with the sporty high-rider becoming the quickest and most powerful model ever for the Land Rover brand.

It’s the first model from Jaguar Land Rover’s newly developed Special Vehicle Operations division, which has been established to take on the likes of BMW’s M Division and Mercedes-Benz performance arm AMG.

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The 2015 Range Rover Sport SVR – which is due on sale in Australia in the second quarter of 2015 – brings with it a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine with 404kW of power and 680Nm of torque. It’s the same engine seen in Jaguar’s R-S models.

The new model easily outdoes the current most potent Range Rover Sport, the SDV8, which has 375kW and covers 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds. The new SVR completes the benchmark sprint in just 4.7sec, on its way to a top speed of 260km/h. Fuel use is expected to be rated at about 12.8L/100km.

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Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters, and the transmission’s torque converter has been retuned for quicker shifts that the brand says are “shorter, more visceral and audibly crisper” than on the standard Sport.

While it is clearly aimed more tarmac than trails, the new SVR retains permanent four-wheel drive, with a two-speed transfer case and centre differential with electronically control multi-plate clutch. There’s a new quad exhaust system that opens up above 3000rpm, and despite the high-tech expulsion system the Sport’s 850mm wading depth.

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For on-road performance, there’s a re-calibrated rear differential to help power out of corners, while a torque-vectoring system that can brake individual wheels has also been adopted. Cornering is further aided by the new Active-Roll Control system, which uses a hydraulic pump on both the front and rear axles to control the amount of body roll and “deliver a progressive breakaway on the limit”, according to Land Rover.

Adjustable dampers and stiffening has been applied to the SVR’s suspension, and the engineers have added extra heft to the electric steering system.

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Styling changes include a bold front bumper with large air intakes, a new grille, new side gills on the front guards, a restyled rear bumper with diffuser and those four exhaust tips, and pumped wheel arches. The SVR rides as standard on 21-inch alloys with 275/45 tyres, while 22s are optional with 295/40 Continental SportContact 5 tread. Behind the rims are Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers.

The interior of the car seen here boasts a striking greyish white and black leather trim finish, but four interior colour trims are said to be available. Other changes include chunky SVR sports bucket seats and standard aluminium trim, while lashings of carbonfibre are optional.

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The new model is set to take on hardcore SUV rivals such as the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, Mercedes-Benz ML 63 AMG and BMW X5 M50d. It has an advantage over those cars, though, claiming the fastest ever time at the infamous Nurburgring for an SUV.

CarAdvice has contacted Land Rover Australia for comment – particularly in regards to price. In the UK, the Range Rover Sport SVR costs £93,450, which equates to a rough AUD price of $170,000.




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